In my company I’m finding increasing challenges in the way extensions are purchased, managed, etc. The extension manager works very well but it requires a sign-in page. I’m using a number of paid or subscription based extensions now.
What is the best practise regarding signing in to use Sketchup? Can a company share one Trimble ID? How does that work with serial numbers etc?
I was thinking about the extension to do documentation indexing (a current forum topic). However, like many Pro tools I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that suits being implemented via a 3rd party extension. It’s too critical to project delivery.
While having lots of $15 extensions may improve sketchup functionality, it seems to only suit a single user or small team environment. Operating such a system for a core documentation function in a corporate/consultancy environment becomes challenging… Projects requiring some collaboration may require each person in the project team to have the extension…what happens if they don’t?
In a larger firm like mine, for a staff member to even test and purchase a $15 extension we might have to fill in a Software Request Form to our Manager for approval, who then forwards it to the IT department who reviews the request (eg check that we dont already own it). Our accounts payable team needs to complete a Purchase Order form or Petty Cash Request then purchase the software (not sure how if they do this if they need to log in to the extension warehouse?..they aren’t a Sketchup user)…Then the finance team will add the new software asset to our books so are taxed appropriate and can depreciate it.
As a team leader, I would have to install then test the extension (because there is a risk it might corrupt an existing project which may have taken 100s of person-hours to create). Then we have to repeat the process so I can roll out the new extension to 20+ users in my team, plus clients and external consultants who may need to use it. Following company policy, I may need to organise training/tutorials and quality review processes and document those.
So $15 actually becomes a significant cost in time and effort.
Of course some of this could all be managed more easily if the extensions were bundled through our Sketchup Reseller’s account …one “product” = one process. The price of Sketchup would change each year to reflect the extensions we have add to our “standard deployment” spec. Then as a team leader I could roll out all extensions to all staff through a centralised management system (or maybe link my team’s accounts to my ‘master’ user Trimble iD?). (nb some team members have different discipline eg some are heavy in architecture, others in civil…so there may be differnet extensions in use across the company…and external consultants will be different again…maybe they are doing Rendering)
Is there an easy way to do all this…or perhaps I should speak to my reseller?
I think that it is really interesting and important topic. I hope SketchUp Extensibility Team will pay attention to this thread.
[UPD] The idea of bundling is really interesting in my opinion. Not sure how it can be implemented technically.
I’m not a very big fan of the idea of bundling SketchUp with certain extensions. Different people need different extensions and bundling goes against the modular architecture of SketchUp. Multi seat licenses for Extension Warehouse would be great though. Maybe it would be beneficial as well with some sort of credit system that would allow individual employees to purchase a few 5 or 10 USD extensions without going through the IT department of their company.
I guess there are two parts to this:
centralised ‘master account’ and ability to manage extensions across a group of users
(eg a sketchup user could join a Group and give some the group admin an ability to control their extension set. And the group admin can use their company credit card and purchase in bulk instead of every group member needing to do the same…
bundling extensions for payment as part of the annual pro subscription. This doesn’t mean every single user of Sketchup in the world receives bundled extensions, but simply that i can ask my reseller "Id like these 15 extensions paid for each year as part of my sketchup maintenance invoice). It’s more work for the reseller (and possibly the extension supplier) but it’s a good service to add.
In this case the Reseller becomes the Group Admin.
20 staff each using 15 extensions = 300 payments to process. !!
I think that almost any approach, that may help to “drill a hole” to drain some excessive money from corporate deposits should be at least studied with a great care even if it goes against modular architecture of an application. Otherwise money will be drained anyway by team building “experts”, PR “researchers”, brand “consultants” and other similar charlatans
I think investments into 3D modeling industry will be far more useful and all humanity may benefit from such investments in a long run.
SketchUp Extensibility Team just held DevCamp previous week, where we talked a bit also about selling/buying process in Extension Warehouse. We threw in a few ideas/requests from developers point of view, and now is just the right time to say what Pro users want. It seems that Extension Warehouse is currently focused only on B2C market, but what Sam is suggesting is a much better B2B system, which would make a lot of sense for both, end users and developers. Thank you Sam for taking the time to explain what you need!
We now just need the Extensibility Team to see this topic and hope that they decide to make something in this direction…
Master accounts or admin accounts that can buy licenses for other accounts sounds like a really good idea! Extension Warehouse could also support some sort of optional discount to encourage companies to buy extensions this way.
Regarding bundle licenses I think it’s outside the scope of what Trimble is doing but if you mean that resellers should do it I totally agree! A reseller could have several bundles like Architecture, Architecture Advanced, Large Scale Architecture etc.
I hope SketchUp Extensibility Team will do similar math on their side as well and maybe it may lead to some decisions.
This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.